The Abuja headquarters of the NEMA has been shut down by its workers
– The staff agency said they would not return to work until the management grant them their demands
– The staff were seen with placards with inscriptions such as ‘Mustapha Maihaja must go The staff of NEMA have shut down the Abuja headquarters of the agency as they embarked on a nationwide indefinite strike over what they termed as maladministration, ineptitude, incompetence and inefficiency of the current director general, Mustafha Maihaja. Premium Times reports that they insisted that they would not return to work until the management of the agency granted their demands. The staff through the chairman of ASCSN of the agency, Justin Uche, disclosed that since assumption of office in April 2017, Maihaja grounded major humanitarian and emergency response operations of NEMA offices across Nigeria.
The strike followed several threats issued by workers of the agency to management over the grounding of its operation including the collapse of Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU), Emergency Response Vehicles, Air Ambulance and the Helicopter that cost the Federal Government of Nigeria over $100 million tax payers money to put in place.
The staff were seen with placards with inscriptions such as ‘Mustapha Maihaja must go’, ‘Maihaja is a Disaster to Disaster Management,’ ‘NEMA has no working tools,’ ‘Maihaja turns NEMA to personal property,’ ‘Mustapha, we are tired of Aluta, pay our claims or resign, enough is enough’. Others read: ‘No hazard allowance, no life assurance cover’, ‘Who will die next’, “No promotion exercise’, ‘Give us training it is statutory’, ‘Maihaja is an electrician, we are humanitarian’.
The staff also complained about non-payment of their allowances, refusal to renew personnel life assurance, lack of training, non-payment of hazard allowances, Improper placement, promotion among other contentious issues. They also condemned the reported refusal of NEMA boss to reinstate suspended senior officers as directed by the House of Represenatatives Committee on Disaster Management.
The union leaders said that despite several letters of threat issued in the past, the management had yet to respond positively to their demands, while the director general ignored their threats and travelled to Moscow.
It was reported that some staff of the NEMA threatened to embark on a nationwide strike over nonpayment of N665 million staff claims. The claims, tagged unverified, the staff said have been generating crisis between the workers and the management of the agency which said the claims are not verified. Leadership reports that the workers who are under the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) are also protesting the transfer of the secretary of the Women Commission Member of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Shiaibu Afusatu to Lagos.